Bible Reading: Duty or Joy?

10:17

Just a brief thought on the nature of Scripture. If Scripture is the Word of the Word – Christ's Word in which He reveals Himself and the Father to us – then it's much much more than a book about God. Rather than being simply a book that tells us about God, it's a book in which we meet with the Triune God. As we read the Bible (and as we hear it read and proclaimed), by the illumination of the Holy Spirit we see Christ who takes us to the Father. So the Triune God is at work to open our eyes and reveal Himself to us. He really does meet with us in His Word.

That means Bible reading (and sermon hearing) isn't our work, but God's. In other words, it's not our effort to read a certain amount each day that's the important factor, but God who is graciously at work as we read (and hear) to open our eyes to the beauty of His love.

We can so easily turn Bible reading into a work or a duty – something which places demands and burdens on us and which we end up feeling that our relationship with God depends on. But rather than a burdensome duty, if we see that Bible reading is about God's work, then we see how it becomes a joy. And so we read the Bible each day, not because we "have to", but because we "get to". We come to Scripture as a delight rather than a duty, because there we meet with Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us and there we see more and more of His great love and grace and so grow in our joy in Him.

And so, our approach to Scripture is rooted in who God is. If I look at Bible reading as a burdensome duty, then my focus is on me - it's what I do to impress God or stay in His good books. But if I look to Christ instead of looking to myself, then it becomes a joy - it's what Christ does to draw me to Himself and take me to the Father.


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The Tenets of the Apostolic Church


The Unity of the Godhead, and Trinity of the Persons therein.

The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for repentance and regeneration and the eternal doom of the finally impenitent.

The virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, triumphant resurrection, ascension, and abiding intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ; His second coming, and millennial reign upon earth.

Justification and Sanctification of the believer through the finished work of Christ.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost for believers, with signs following.

The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Church, which is the body of Christ.

The Sacraments of Baptism by immersion and of the Lord's Supper.

The Divine inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures.

Church government by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, elders and deacons.

The possibility of falling from grace.

The obligatory nature of tithes and offerings.